UAE denies hacking Qatar news agency

Qatar has been ostracised by its neighbours since reports revealed its emir making comments praising Hamas and calling Iran an "Islamic power".

The UAE arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post fiery but false quotes linked to Qatar's emir, prompting a diplomatic crisis, The Washington Postreported on Sunday, citing U.S. intelligence officials.

On June 5, a group of Gulf countries including Saudi Arabi, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt announced they were breaking diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging its financial support of terrorist organizations.

The UAE embassy in Washington on Monday sent a series of tweets quoting its ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, denying the Washington Post report, which was published Sunday and, according to the paper, was based on information provided by unnamed U.S. intelligence officials.

"The Washington Post story is not true, purely not true", he said responding to a question after a speech at Chatham House in London.

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Qarqash, said the sanctions imposed by the UAE and its allies against Doha are working. Qatar claimed their sites had been hacked, but the false report became the pretext to start the Saudi-led campaign.

The report quotes unnamed USA intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23.

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While campaigns are often offered opposition research, Conway says, the information ends up being a "bust" in many cases. On Friday, Akhmetshin told The Washington Post that he was on his own in NY when he got a phone call from Veselnitskaya.

However, the officials are unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.

"The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article ..."

Washington and Doha signed the agreement as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Qatar on a three-day tour of Persian Gulf-Arab countries to try to end a month-long rift between Western-allied Arab states. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas & Qadafi. The bogus remarks were reported by Saudi-supporting media. What is true is Qatar's behavior.

Gargash said the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or Qatar.

In early July, the Arab states sent a list of demand and required Doha to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel, extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism and pay compensation.

But its Gulf Arab neighbours and Egypt have always been irked by its support for anti-establishment movements and for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood that briefly won power in Egypt, which they regard as a political enemy.

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